A LUDLOW councillor has hit back after his proposals for improving walking and cycling in the town were criticised.

Councillor Andy Boddington has spoken out after campaigner Darren Childs and Coun Vivienne Parry criticised his own 44-page plan, which came after Shropshire Council said it wants to shut the High Street and King Street to traffic during set hours and convert the Castle Street car park into a community space and parking for market traders as part of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.

“Councillors complaining about my proposals for improving movement seem to have misunderstood what is proposed," Coun Boddington said. 

Ludlow Advertiser: Councillor Vivienne Parry and campaigner Darren Childs in LudlowCouncillor Vivienne Parry and campaigner Darren Childs in Ludlow (Image: Rob Davies)

"Neither I nor Shropshire Council have suggested closing King Street.

“The council’s proposals were often vague. As are those of the councillors objecting to my very detailed proposals." 

Coun Boddington said he has argued for a trial of a weight limit on vehicles entering the town centre from 11am to 4pm, and a trial banning all traffic except buses and taxis from King Street from 11am to 4pm on Saturdays in peak season.

"This will not affect market traders who set up before 8am and should not affect other traders as deliveries on Saturday are few," he said.

"For the five hours cars aren’t allowed on King Street, they can enter by the other two routes into the town centre."

He said he agreed that park and ride services need improving, suggesting a 20-minute direct service using narrower electric buses, but that opposing councillors had not spelt out how that should be done.

“The pavements are as narrow as 90cm on King Street," he said.

"When large vehicles pass, people squeeze into doorways. That includes people with disabilities, some on mobility scooters.

“A blind man told me recently how difficult it is for him and his guide dog to walk along King Street. The harassment of pedestrians from traffic damages trade on King Street.

“I can’t accept any solutions that discriminate against disabled people, who don’t just travel in cars.

Ludlow Advertiser: Councillor Andy Boddington has put forward his own proposal for the townCouncillor Andy Boddington has put forward his own proposal for the town (Image: Ludlow Advertiser)

Coun Boddington said tour buses, which Coun Parry had said were important to the town, need managing with arranged pick-up and drop-off points, but are not part of current proposals.

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“Ludlow is good at resisting change, but sometimes change must happen to protect the town," he said.

"Out-of-town shopping, which has destroyed so many town centres, has arrived in Ludlow.

“We have an opportunity to significantly improve the environment in Ludlow and increase footfall. My Movement Strategy for Ludlow examines nearly one hundred proposals, half from Shropshire Council and half from myself.

“We need to improve our town for everyone, not just car drivers.”